Interview Do’s and Don’ts - If you want to increase your chances of obtaining the job for which you are applying, you need to know what is acceptable and what is not when you go for an interview. However, they may seem like small things to a job applicant, doing the right things can make the different in your potential for being hired. It is important to know what things may earn you extra points and those that will take away and cost you the opportunity for that job. Although most people are aware of what to do and not do during an interview, those who are looking for their first job - at least their first full-time job - may not be aware of those things.
Things to do before and during an interview
- Find out something about the company
- Have a hard copy of your resume available
- Make sure you have proper clothing for an interview (professional or business casual depending on the company), freshly laundered and pressed or hung to dry to remove wrinkles
- Prepare a list of questions to ask at the interview
- Have a notebook to take notes during the interview
- Be on time for the interview - if there are circumstances beyond your control call the interviewer and give him or her the option to still see you or reschedule the interview
- Leave your cell phone in the car or turn it off during the interview
- Send a Thank You note to the interviewer as soon as possible after the interview. This increases your chances of being hired. Things not to do before or during the interview
- Do not schedule interviews too close together in case there are additional things you need to do such as testing or meeting with the department manager
- Do not bring your children or anyone else with you to an interview unless they are also applying for a position
- Never smoke during an interview even if you are allowed to do so and if you smoke right before the interview have gum or breath mints for your mouth and spray to remove the smell from your clothing
- Never snack or chew gum. If you use gum or mints to kill the taste of cigarette smoke, finish them before you go in for the interview
- Stay on topic during the interview and avoid personal discussions
- Do not bring drinks into the interview - if the interviewer asks if you would like coffee, tea or water you may then accept.
Choose Your Words Carefully - When you are speaking with someone about a new position, even if it is with the same company for which you are working be careful of your word choices. Many people lose good opportunities because they fail to adhere to strict professional and grammatical correct language during an interview. If you do not use correct grammar any other time, you will need to use it during a job interview. It may seem perfectly fine to use double negatives and slang when you are dealing with friends and co-workers, but if you want to win positive points during an interview, you have to speak as though you are educated.